Dairy Event 2009: White clover can cut N costs

Including white clover in swards could significantly reduce the amount of bought-in nitrogen.

Thirty per cent white clover in grass swards could fix up to 200kg/ha of nitrogen. If clover is only relied on to produce 150kgN/ha, this could save £74/ha a year at current nitrogen prices, according to a British Grassland Society spokesman at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show.

BGS has begun showing farmers the practical aspects of being “Nutrient Wise”‘ and, at one of its Devon plots, the benefits of wise slurry use could be worth £27-34/ha.

The plot in Devon has been reserved for a late cut of baled silage so that the society can demonstrate the effects of using a splash-plate slurry spreader, a trailing-shoe slurry applicator, farm yard manure, poultry manure or bagged fertiliser, and calculations of the bagged fertiliser required to balance manure applications.